Flagship City Apartments Strives for LEED Certification
Flagship City Strives for LEED Certification
Flagship City Apartments is seeking certification under the LEED for Homes criteria. LEED certifications fall under several varying categories based on project type and use of the building. LEED for Homes, which is a relatively new category, targets residential construction. The LEED certification systems are based on earning a minimum number of points to achieve a given level of certification. The lowest level is Certified and the highest is Platinum. (Flagship City Apartments was assessed by our LEED consultant as a potential Silver certification and is currently on track to achieve that certification.)
LEED for Homes has eight general categories ranging from Innovation and Design Process and Locations and Linkages to Water Efficiency and Energy and Atmosphere.
When HANDS first explored the idea of seeking of a LEED certification we found that we were already doing many of the things a LEED certification requires. For instance, we received points for building on previously developed land, and for building in a location that’s within ½ mile of many basic community services. Other land design features that helped us score well were the use of drought tolerant landscaping and minimizing the amount of impermeable surfaces such as concrete and conventional asphalt.
Concerning construction of the building itself, Flagship City Apartments will earn points for meeting Energy Star version 3 requirements, using independent 3rd party testing to verify the requirements are met in all 10 units, and for achieving exceptional energy performance. In rating the building’s energy performance, we noticed the synergy found in the way the LEED categories complement each other.
The measures we included to score well in the Indoor Environmental Quality category such as, continuous exhaust and closed combustion heating helped to boost our score for energy performance. These measures helped to support our scoring for Energy and Atmosphere which included high performance insulation, Energy Star rated lighting and appliances, and using windows and doors rated “excellent”.
Finally, since in the long term a building will only perform well when the inhabitants are educated on and adhere to the proper operation of the building’s systems and features, LEED certification requires that education programs for the tenants and building managers are drafted and used at regular intervals.